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By Al Benson Jr.It seems that the “Windy City” has had a love affair with communism that goes back a long time. Originally, you can trace it back to 1860 when the Republican Party convention was held there–the convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln to run for president on the Republican ticket that year. There were several “Forty-Eighter” socialists, refugees from the 1848 socialist revolts in Europe, there that year for the convention and some of these socialists, such as Carl Schurz, actually helped to write the Republican Party platform in 1860. In our book Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists Walter Kennedy and I have noted this. On page 61 we stated: “In chapter one we noted the close ties between radical European socialists/communists and Lincoln. In that chapter we pointed out that we are not suggesting that Lincoln was a communist, only that for some reason, these early American socialists/communists found the new Republican Party and Abraham Lincoln very attractive.” So Lincoln was nominated, ran, and won, with the help of these Forty-Eighter socialists/communists–and it started in Chicago. How fitting. You can check out information about Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists on http://olesouthbooks.com
Unfortunately for Chicago, that was not the last they saw of the communists. A dispatch from Chicago to the New York Times for April 24, 1878 noted: “The Police report that the communist element here already numbers several thousands, and that many drilling places are almost nightly frequented by armed men.
There are three halls on the North Side having facilities for drilling purposes, and the Superintendent of Police reports that about 4000 men drill in them every week…Superintendent of Police Hickey says that the arms used by the organizations are mostly Springfield rifles of the old and new patterns.” The dispatch also noted that the communists had sent an agent from Chicago to New York to purchase more arms and ammunition. Sounds typically communist–a little intimidation to attempt to dampen potential resistance. The Russian tanks in the streets of Budapest in 1956 accomplished the same purpose.
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